Wrong way driver causes accident on I-35A Willmar man was arrested early Friday morning after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 35 and caused an accident.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Willmar man was arrested early Friday morning after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 35 and caused an accident.
Corey Ryan Walthers, 38, was charged Monday in Carlton County Court with two gross misdemeanor counts: criminal vehicular operation resulting in bodily harm and criminal vehicular operation–driver leaving the scene of an accident.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, troopers from the Minnesota State Patrol and officers from the Moose Lake Police Department were dispatched to I-35 near mile marker 218 for a reported motor vehicle crash.
According to the criminal complaint, Walthers was allegedly driving a red 1997 Dodge Neon southbound in the northbound lane of the Interstate and sideswiped a second motor vehicle near mile post 218. Witnesses told Trooper Dave Vereecken that the passengers in the other vehicle had received injuries and had been transported to Moose Lake’s Mercy Hospital. According to prosecuting attorney Michael Boese, the emergency room doctor indicated the two injured passengers had “bodily harm” (versus substantial or great bodily harm), which limited the charges to a gross misdemeanor. The county attorney’s office did not get any specific details on the injuries, however.
The complaint described the defendant as highly intoxicated and “quite hostile and belligerent … threatening to sue the officers should they not release him from custody.”
Further investigation revealed that Walthers had attempted to flee the scene of the crash by getting a ride to the metro area from a southbound driver in a pickup truck.
A later breath test sample revealed a .205 alcohol concentration value from the defendant. Law enforcement brought Walthers to Mercy Hospital for a blood draw, which was mailed to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for evidentiary testing.
Although Boese requested the maximum bail of $24,000 for the two crimes, Sixth District Court Judge Dale Wolf set bond at $10,000 Monday, or $1,000 cash. Walthers’ next appearance is set for Monday, Oct. 8. The maximum sentence for each charge is one year and/or $3,000.